GVSU women's soccer, cross country focused on NCAA Midwest Regionals

Grand Valley women's soccer team huddles before a game.
The Grand Valley women's soccer team, ranked No. 1 in the Midwest Region, face rival Ferris State for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship at 1 p.m. on November 18 in Bemidji, Minnesota.
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The two-time defending national champion women’s soccer team continues its play in the NCAA Tournament, meeting rival Ferris State in the Midwest Regional Championship at 1 p.m. November 18 in Bemidji, Minnesota.

The Lakers are the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region and received a first-round bye in the tournament before defeating Maryville, 1-0, on November 13.

Grand Valley has already faced Ferris State three times this season, drawing twice with the Bulldogs during the regular season and defeating them in their GLIAC Tournament match. 

A win on Friday means the Lakers advance to the Super Regional on November 20, where they will face the winner of the Emporia State vs. Bemidji State match.

“I feel like we’re on the rise, and we’re getting better, not just soccer wise, but mentality wise,” said head coach Katie Hultin. “We play so well when we’re light and having fun and we take the pressure off. Hopefully we can go and do the same thing against Ferris, play light and score some goals.” 

Four Lakers also picked up individual honors this week from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. Forward Taylor Reid was named the Midwest Region Player of the Year while forward Kennedy Bearden, defender Cate Brown and midfielder Mackenzie Jones joined Reid on the D2CCA Midwest Region first team.

Grand Valley cross country teams eyeing national titles

GVSU's men's and women's cross country teams begin their journeys toward NCAA titles with the MCAA Midwest Regional meet on November 19 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The defending national champion men’s cross country team won its 20th consecutive GLIAC championship on November 4. Tanner Chada, who finished second at the 2021 NCAA Championships, led the field and claimed the GLIAC’s Men’s Runner of the Year. 

“I felt like it was a solid day,” Chada said. “We’re all just trying to get ready for the NCAA Championships on December 2. It was definitely a good step forward.” 

The women’s team also had an impressive showing at the GLIAC Championship, sweeping the top-five spots to earn its 21st consecutive conference title. After finishing second at last year’s national meet, the Lakers are a strong contender for the 2022 NCAA title.

Natalie Graber finished first at the GLIAC meet and earned GLIAC Women’s Runner of the Year honors. Lauren Kiley, who finished second, was named the GLIAC Women’s Freshman of the Year. 

“We always say the GLIACs are the first step of a three-step process during championship season,” Graber said. “The priority was getting out of the GLIAC meet healthy with a good, hard effort.”